Lubbock legislators discuss big issues of special session

Lubbock legislators discuss big issues of special session

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LUBBOCK -

Texas lawmakers are heading back to Austin next week for special session. The first item on the agenda? The Sunset Bill, a piece of legislation that addresses if state agencies remain in business this time around the Texas Medical Board. 

"I really believe as a committee, as a whole, we can vote most of the Sunset Bills out and then we will start having the hearings on the other agenda items that we are going to deal with," said Senator Charles Perry. 

"That is primarily the reason we are back," said Representative John Frullo. "That is the one thing that we need to accomplish so that we keep the four medical boards going."  

Representative Dustin Burrows is optimistic and said, "I think we will pass it in the first 5 or 6 days and move on to the rest." 

Once the Sunset Bill is approved by the Senate, Governor Abbott will add 20 other issues to the agenda. One of the big issues at hand - the Bathroom Bill. This legislation enacts restrictions on which bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms transgenders can use. 

"All the privacy bill would do is allow them to continue to accommodate that situation the way they have been doing and without those districts are going to face lawsuits up and down the line and with it with the privacy bill than the state would step in behalf those districts and save those litigation costs," said Perry. 

Education legislation will also be considered to improve the state's school finance protocols, to school vouchers for special needs students. State legislators will also consider increasing benefits and average salaries for educators. 

"We had an opportunity to pass those out of the house unfortunately they did get caught in some of the conflict and didn't pass before the session ended and so I'm optimistic and looking forward to this special session so we can revive the conversation and hopefully get a little farther with them," said Burrows.

Property taxes is another issue legislators will be tackling during the special session. Lubbock legislators say giving tax payers the right to vote on property tax reform and keeping them informed on where their tax money is going to be ideal during this special session.

"I get more calls about high property taxes people thinking their property taxes are too high and they are going up to high but that is what this bill would address the house a really good version on how we were going to identify what that rate was and let people know where that money was going," said Frullo.

The special session begins July 18 and is called for 30 days. New bills are also expected to be introduced. 

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